The Iron Knight (Iron Fey Series #4)

The Iron Knight - Julie Kagawa Ash made a promise to Meghan – he would find a way to be with her in the Iron Realm, a realm poisonous to the fae. Even if that means becoming human.Which calls for a quest – first to find Grimalkin because he normally knows, well, everything and from there a quest to make Ash mortal. To find him a human soul. All the while accompanied with Puck for his own brand of randomness – and the deep underlying pain that still strains their broken friendship.A pain that only becomes more acute when they find the surprising identity of the seer that can guide Ash to humanity – and to Meghan’s sideThis book, as can be guessed by the title, focuses on Ash. Hmmmm…Ok I’m going to confess a “your mileage may vary” moment, but I don’t like Ash. I don’t like the whole centuries old immortal falling head over heels for a teenager after spending 5 minutes with them trope. I don’t like the idea of a centuries old immortal deciding to give up his life, his allegiances – just about everything that defines him – to dedicate his whole being to a teenager he’s known for a month, if that. The whole concept of Ash from book 1 has annoyed me.Especially since this relationship defines Ash. His relationship with Meghan and his relationship with Ariella are pretty much all there is to Ash. I’ll go a step further and say that the only defining characteristic about Ash is his angst. He angsts over Meghan and being with her. He angsts over Ariella and her dying. He angsts over Puck causing Ariella’s death and further angsts over their broken friendship. He angsts over being an Unseelie fae and the darkness within him and what that could mean. He angsts over the politics of the court. He even angsts over all the bad things he’s done in the past as an Unseelie fae.Add to this that Ash isn’t exactly romantic and glamorous in his angst. He sulks, he pouts, he becomes passive aggressive and snarky and doles out the silent treatment. He’s moody and just a little petulant; I suspect he looks like a teenager, but he’s supposed to be several centuries old, we would hope for a little more maturity.And this book feels like a grand show case for the angst and every encounter feels like another way to develop more angst into the tale. Puck comes along with him – allowing lots of angst about Ariella being dead, lots of angst about Puck loving Meghan and even a side order of angst from Puck about how he never took his chance to be with Meghan. (And, side point again – but uckies, ew, creepy! Puck has been watching Megahn since she was a baby. He watched her all her life until the age of 16. The idea that he missed the chance to make his feelings known is just intensely, skin crawly creepy here. She’s 16! He knew her as a baby! Get away from her you creepy creepy person you).And the seer – is she there for any other purpose than to pile on more angst and a love triangle plot? To have Ash doubt about whether he wants Meghan and to wring his hands for more moping and angst? We even have a random encounter with some Thornguards which seems to exist only to bring home to Ash how impossible it is for him, a Winter Fey, to exist in the Iron Realm for yet more angst about the hopelessness of it all.Even the ending is positively saturated with angstAngst, mope, angst, whine, angst, brood, angst angst angst. Can a dragon eat him now?Frankly, I have little time for it and had a hard time dredging through the endless moping. The only redemption came, for me, from the side characters. Puck is always fun – wild and random and light and carefree and silly – but always, lurking under there, an edge. He seems so reckless and silly and playful but underneath there’s always a suggestion of how dangerous he can be, of how his pranks and japes can easily turn into malice and danger if he is sufficiently provoked. I like Puck, he’s a fascinating character and worthy of more time in his own right – once he’s away from Ash and his eternal angst field that can even make Puck start moping.Read More